The new album from Canada's Diamond Mind, Heavy Metal Sunshine, out Friday from Wyatt Records, is an odd beast. A wonderful beast, but a strange one in some ways. Read on.
Jumping through these tracks one finds a quirky mix of the vaguely new wave and some buoyant indie. If something like "Tell It To The Sky" plays like a playful cousin to early Arcade Fire jaunts, the absolutely beautiful "Blind Hills Chapel" that follows offers up something closer to the work of Rufus Wainwright if he'd pursued a wholesale pillage of the pieces of Bowie's Hunky Dory earlier in his career. It's worth stating that this is one gorgeous track and the sort of thing that elevates the rest of the record by association. The title cut nods in the direction of earlier waves of Britpop, and certain American power-pop acts like Bleu and Owsley, while the lyrical "Hades Proper" recalls nothing so much as Ben Folds with a more glam bent. If "The Janks" retains a certain modern sense of tuneful indie, the more ambitious "Front Page of the End Times" showcases Diamond Mind's approach to this sort of thing, the arrangement being more interesting than most of that modern indie I was referring to above.
In spots, lots of Heavy Metal Sunshine is superb. Diamond Mind bring a sense of melody and composition to this kind of music that few these days, with the exception of newer acts like The Cairo Gang, seem to have grasped. All that being said, "Blind Hills Chapel" is such a fantastic track that I urge you to buy this album just for that one song.
[Photo: Levi Manchak]